November 17, 2014
- Hold the front page...we are again sad, very
sad to report that the treacherous and vicious
Ebola scourge has claimed the life of another
Sierra Leonean doctor. The sixth. Dr Martin Salia is no
more. He succumbed to the ravages of the virus
early this morning in the United States. Lord
please have mercy upon us.
The news we had
dreaded all along has now hit us - yet again. Despite the
prayers of many, the Good Lord has thought it
fit to call a hardworking true Sierra Leonean
doctor to eternal rest - free from the ravages
of the deadly virus that had been attacking all
his body's defence mechanisms causing him untold
and unimaginable pain and suffering.
We got this
from the website of the
United Methodist Church
news outlet -
"Dr. Martin Salia
died Nov. 17 from advanced Ebola, said doctors
at the Nebraska Medical Center. Salia was
airlifted there from Sierra Leone on Nov. 15.
“It is with extremely heavy heart that we
share this news,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical
director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska
Medical Center. “Dr. Salia was extremely
critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately,
despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to
Doctors said Salia was suffering from
kidney and respiratory failure when he arrived
and was placed on dialysis, a ventilator and
multiple medications including a dose of ZMapp.
“We’re very grateful for the efforts of the team
led by Dr. Smith,” said Isatu Salia, his wife,
in a statement released by the medical center.
“In the short time we spent here, it was
apparent how caring and compassionate everyone
was. We are so appreciative of the opportunity
for my husband to be treated here and believe he
was in the best place possible.”
Dr. Martin Salia died just after 4 a.m. on Nov. 17.
The doctor was
transported to the U.S. facility on Nov. 15
after being diagnosed with Ebola. At the time of
his illness, he was chief medical officer and
surgeon at United Methodist Kissy Hospital in
Freetown, Sierra Leone, and also was serving
other health facilities.
The private plane
carrying Salia arrived at Eppley Airfield at
2:44 p.m. local time (3:44 p.m. ET) Saturday. As
snow fell, people dressed in bright yellow
protective clothing loaded Salia onto an
isolation pad and then into the back of an
ambulance. The Omaha hospital said the
medical crew transporting Salia, 44, determined
that his condition was stable enough for him to
make the lengthy flight to Omaha.
hospital also reported that information from the
team caring for him in Sierra Leone indicated
that he is critically ill and "possibly sicker
than the first patients successfully treated in
the United States" for Ebola.
This page carried excerpts from an interview
conducted with the good doctor on why, he,
though a US resident chose to be in Sierra Leone
“I knew it wasn’t going to be
rosy, but why did I decide to choose this
job? I firmly believe God wanted me to do
it. And I knew deep within myself. There was
just something inside of me that the people
of this part of Freetown needed help.
I see it as
God’s own desired framework for me. I took
this job not because I want to, but I firmly
believe that it was a calling and that God
wanted me to.
That’s why I strongly believe
that God that has brought me here will fix
whatever comes to my door, (my) way. And I’m
pretty sure, I’m confident that I just need
to lean on him, trust him, for whatever
comes in, because he sent me here. And
that’s my passion.”
US-based news outlet,
has this account -
"A surgeon who had
tested negative for the deadly Ebola virus in
Sierra Leone before testing positive days later
died Monday in Omaha, Nebraska Medical Center
Martin Salia, whose family lives in
Maryland, was flown to Omaha from Sierra Leone
on Saturday and rushed to the medical center's
specialized biocontainment unit.
extremely sorry to announce that the third
patient we've cared for with the Ebola virus,
Dr. Martin Salia, has passed away as a result of
the advanced symptoms of the disease," the
hospital said on its Facebook page.
"It is with
an extremely heavy heart that we share this
news," Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at the hospital said in the
statement. "Dr. Salia was extremely critical
when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite
our best efforts, we weren't able to save him."
Tim Shenk, spokesman for Doctors Without
Borders, said "false negative" test results are
possible in the first days of symptoms when the
viral load is relatively low. Salia was retested
Nov. 10; that test was positive.
Smith said Salia was suffering from advanced symptoms of
Ebola when he arrived in Nebraska, including
kidney and respiratory failure. He was placed on
dialysis, required a ventilator and received
plasma, Smith said. Multiple medications
included experimental ZMapp therapy, a new drug
that has shown promise in fighting the disease."
On the Facebook page of
the hospital we found this -
"Dr. Salia arrived at
the Biocontainment Unit on day 13 of his
disease. (Other Ebola patients
got here on days 6 and 8.) Dr. Salia was
unresponsive, had no kidney function and was
working hard to breathe. He went into cardiac
arrest Monday morning and passed away around
"We gave it
everything we could," said Dr. Johnson, Division
Chief of Critical Care Anesthesiology. "Our
staff worked around the clock to save him. He
was given a dose of convalescent plasma and
We also tried
dialysis and respiratory support." Our staff is
deeply saddened and grieving this loss, but they
are still dedicated to treating Ebola patients.
"I want to thank our local heroes who took care
of a global hero," said Morris.
"Their work was
second to none."
The death of Dr Martin
Salia once more throws into the spotlight
questions about how the first outward signs of
infection are treated.
Are we getting it right?
Are we too slow in reacting quite forgetting
that once the Ebola beast of a virus gets into
the human system, it gets to work immediately,
multiplying and attacking all the body's
The unit that took up Dr
Salia's case says that he arrived on day 13 of
his disease and that other Ebola patients they
treated got to the hospital on days 6 and 8
meaning that the time gap - those vital days,
hours, minutes and seconds are quite important -
that they should not be lost. And this again
buttresses our fears that we are leaving things
too late for any intervention to work for the
good of the afflicted. This is where delay costs
We have now lost six
doctors and in this latest case of Dr Martin
Salia we hear of initial tests that proved
negative only for a further test some days later
to prove that he was indeed positive for the
Is there something wrong
with the testing lab or should there be a more
robust testing sequence that should deliver
results within hours - even then too long a
period for such a vicious and malevolent beast.
Even as we mourn the
passing away of another fallen hero in the fight
against the Ebola scourge, let us not lose hope.
Let us learn from our mistakes to save more
lives as indeed latest figures from Sierra Leone
show that we do not only have more unreported
deaths, but that those in charge of the Sierra
Leone sector in the fight against the virus have
still not got their priorities right.
We offer our condolences to
the bereaved immediate family - partner Isatu,
the children and the wider family members. May
the Good Lord in His mercy, grant Dr Martin
Salia the peace that only He can give.
Rest In Peace